36/14: fancy that – art deco style

Knowing we were returning to Napier, New Zealand, on our cruise in January 2014, dubbed “the Art Deco capital of the southern hemisphere”, I came up with the idea of taking some dress-ups and doing our own little photo shoot as a different type of souvenir.

As well as accosting an unsuspecting passer-by to take the shot I had set up, we had the enjoyment of other passengers from the ship thinking we were two of the locals, who habitually dress up when cruise ships are docked. It was amusing when we turned up at the dining room for dinner that night, still dressed in the same gear!

Here is my favourite photo from that day:

Art Deco fancy dress

20/14: sandi’s teen drawings #1


My sister and I used to while away many hours drawing during our childhood. We were from a large family, which shows why there was not much space wasted on a page! Note the random comments in between the different sections. Being somewhat sentimental I kept some from my teens, as it’s fun to take an occasional trip down Memory Lane.

Since we are in the 21st century I can share my doodling with the whole wide cyberspace world, whether you like it or not!


drawn by sandi 1973 1974

19/14: something old, something new


No, the title is not related to a wedding, although I did eventually wear the altered dress to my sister’s marriage in 2009. I find it difficult to throw out after-five wear, particularly if it wasn’t an inexpensive purchase. Take this Anthea Crawford black and gold dress for example. Purchased in 1991, on sale of course (you won’t find me buying a full-priced designer dress any time soon), the dropped waist didn’t carry through to the new century. I had previously moved it to the fancy dress cupboard, but at the end of 2008 I came up with an idea.

gold and black Anthea Crawford dress before

I still couldn’t bear to throw it out, as both fabrics were, and still are, beautiful. My resourcefulness kicked in when I decided to alter it. Since there was too much gold, I changed it to be a feature top with the skirt sitting just under the bust, and sewn carefully so that I could utilise the rolled  hem it already had. The new design proved to be more figure-flattering also.

gold and black dress after

Add the stole that it originally came with, in the black gold-swirled chiffon, gold shoes and accessories, and I was ready to go.

gold and black dress with stole

All it took was some ingenuity, lateral thinking, some thread and time to create a new look.

16/14: princess prattles takes a new direction

As Easter signals rebirth and resurrection, I have decided to branch out by focussing on something less limiting than two things I love: my garden and my cats.

To this end, I am re-branding princess prattles to cater to my biggest passion – creativity. Continuing with the same blog address princessprattles.com, you will see the new header entitled “the crafty princess”.

What might you expect to see in the coming months? Topics may cover calligraphy, card making, scrapbooking, photography, home décor, garden projects, even fashion, plus anything else that gets my inventive and imaginative juices flowing.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. If I can provide some momentary pleasure, information and/or inspiration, then my work here can be deemed successful. Hope you enjoy this change in direction and continue to follow my blog.

Hoppy Easter Bunny Rabbit

Yours in creativity, and wishing you a Hoppy Easter,

Sandi, the crafty princess

311/366: hats off for the roses

Not strictly related to my garden, this post at least does have roses in it, and a photo of me in my garden, all dressed up and ready to go.

Coming up to the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival, at Eastland on Saturday 13th October I entered the heat for Fashions on the Field, in the two categories Most Elegant Lady and Best Hat. Traditionally this is always done at the races, but Eastland joined forces with Yarra Valley Racing to help promote each other. Retail and Fashions on the Field go hand in hand after all.

I had manufactured my hat from a cute little top hat from a fancy dress shop, added a black veil and feathers, and finally some bling in the form of part of a Christmas decoration. You can definitely say it was a “Sandi Original”.  It complemented my black dress with red flowers, pewter shoes and bling jewellery and bag.

Cutting to the chase, Yours Truly won Best Hat!! That meant, as Winner of Heat One, I would go straight into the Final on Cup Day.

The roses you say, what about the roses? All the contestants won a goodie bag with vouchers and assorted little prizes, plus Most Elegant Lady and Best Hat received a bottle of Emeri Pink Moscato and a beautiful bunch of roses. There you have the tenuous link to my garden. It’s my blog and I’ll post if I want to.

All I had to do was go to the Yarra Valley races on Cup Day for the final. The best thing is, I already knew what I was going to wear!

The sad news is that I didn’t win. Big fish in a little pond became little fish in a big pond, with so many well-hatted women out there. Still, a group of seven of us had some fun and a   lovely picnic lunch in country surroundings, and despite the inclement weather, and occasional thunder and lightning, did not get too wet.

And I must remember, I won the best prize of all thirty years ago when I met my husband at the Melbourne Cup.

size does matter

Now that I have your attention, let it be known we are not travelling down that particular path, and if you don’t know what that path is, just ignore this sentence and read on.

The question that interests me is: why is it that females, in general, have such a fetish about the size on the tags of the clothes they wear? I myself have fallen into that trap in the past. Years ago, there was a mauve dress and jacket that was on sale, (yes another net in which we can be entangled), so I tried it on. Because it was a good price and fitted reasonably, the main reason I had to buy it was that it was a Size 10. I did find a few functions to wear it to, but the specific selling point was its size. And who would read the tag anyway?? (except me)

However, unbeknownst to some, sizing has changed. The Size 10 of yesteryear is the Size 8 of today. So don’t get too excited when you have “gone down a size.” Even Kath and Kim on TV make remarks about “A Country Road Size 10,” as that brand is of a generous fit.

Australia has entered the obesity challenge and per capita, is larger than America. Frightening but true. Statistics don’t lie. But then again, did you know that 87% of statistics are made up on the spot? Just like I did then.

I have finally realised that it doesn’t matter what size the actual tag says, but whether the garment fits well. The tighter a piece of clothing is, the harder it is to look slim. We may not all be slim, but at least if the clothes you are wearing are not skin tight (think of those dreaded muffin tops, where the pants are so tight the fat just oozes out like a freshly-baked Texas muffin).

Here’s my challenge: next time you are in the fitting room, take a few of the same items in different sizes, from the size you are going to be by summer, the size you think you actually are, to the next size or two up, mix them up so that you don’t know which one is what size, and then choose the one that looks the best. Quite often you may find that the one slightly larger is that one. So be it. No-one need be the wiser, but you may in fact receive more compliments for having tricked yourself.